When the new building for the Rock Island Center for Math & Science (RICMS) opens in August 2010, suddenly there will be a lot more than concrete trucks and contractors headed to 2101 16th Avenue. With the unique situation of placing a new elementary school adjacent to two designated residential historic districts, plus the challenges of terrain, brick streets, arterial streets and new travel patterns for hundreds of families, the Rock Island-Milan School District turned to the Neighborhood Partners' School-Community Task Force for assistance. Together, the two organizations have been working on a draft travel plan that will be rolled out for review and comment on Wednesday, January 27 to parents, neighborhood residents and other interested parties.

The forum will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Rock Island Public Library Community Room 401 19th Street, Rock Island. Free childcare for forum attendees will be provided in the Children's Library in the basement of the main library building. Refreshments will be offered.

The RICMS travel plan includes components related to crosswalks, signage, direction and flow of traffic both internal and external to the RICMS campus, walkability due to terrain, car queuing areas, satellite parking, and on-street parking. Strategies to encourage walking, safety education and enforcement of rules and regulations were also identified. Minimizing the influx of automobile traffic into the adjacent neighborhoods was also a key concern.

The forum will include an overview of the process the School District must follow in order to access state and federal funding support to implement travel objectives, then the specific infrastructure strategies for RICMS will be presented. There will also be discussion of specific ideas to encourage children to walk to school and to educate the parents and neighbors about the travel plan. These short presentations will be followed by a Question, Answer & Comment period.

More details at www.rockislandschools.org.

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